I have added a column to the course ratings to indicate number of plays, because as you will see with Devon Quarry, I like any other player can let my performance on the course color my opinion of it. If my view of the course changes over subsequent plays, I will definitely update my ratings and comments.
The other change you will see is added designer names and some screenshots. For designer names I will use either the designer’s screen name or real name, depending on what I can find, so don’t be alarmed if you see me mixing and matching. For a lot of the courses that have been ported over from TGC2 at the beginning, I’ll also likely being using TGC2 screenshots. I will try to call that out when I do it.
Olafsen Skerries – Reebdoog – Rating: High 4
Beautiful and rugged coastline. Subtle but ever present elevation change. Lots of options are available off of the tee with a number of split fairways. It maybe comes close to hitting the split fairway note a few too many times, but certainly forgivable with the quality of the course. Real test of distance control and short game if you miss greens. Lots of granular undulation in the greens. Some spline squiggles, but to be expected in a port.
Spyglass Hill, California – Calavera999 – Rating: Low 4/Solid 4
(Note: I’ve kind of settled on a Low/Solid/High designation for how many stars a course earns on the rating scale, because 5 stars isn’t granular enough to me)
(Note to the note: I can’t believe I’ve used “granular” twice in this post. I hate that term and everything about it’s go-to usage in corporate environments these days. I promise I won’t ever use it again.)
Opening holes in the dunes are nicely done, they looked a lot like the holes and environment I saw from 17 mile drive when I visited. Greens hold nicely on default. Some rough edges around greens and water (to be expected in early tgc2 ports). Details around the perimeter of the inland holes are well done. Inland holes just can’t hold the visual and strategic interest of coastal holes, but there are a couple memorable holes coming in.
Speaking of 17 Mile Drive, that’s a good excuse for me to look back at some pics of my trip and remember how awesome that place is.
Devon Quarry – Eric Nesbit – Rating: High 3
It was bound to happen. I lost my swing here, lost my patience with the course, and let it affect my feelings for the course (I’m pretty sure I rated this course higher in TGC2, where my swing was more predictable). I hit in a fairway bunker on the par 4 on the back 9 and couldn’t clear the massive OB to the green, which was my signal to WD. The visuals are nice, and it ticks the box for a challenging video game golf course for top players. Likely much easier to enjoy when hitting the ball well, but felt overly penal for slight strays due to water and rounded fairway edges. Doesn’t quite check the boxes of what I am looking for in my rounds, even though I can see some of the qualities to the overall build of the course.
TPC Boston – HB – Rating: High 4
Despite the horrific job on the bunkers, I enjoyed this one. I don’t know what changes Gil Hanse has made over the years to compare the current hole designs to previous iterations I’ve played in the past, but there is plenty of strategy to this course and it plays nicely. Some really interesting greens that were fun to play. I haven’t played Sawgrass, Summerlin, or Deere Run yet, but this feels like the early contender for the best course HB put together. I’m looking forward to coming back to this one often.